In an effort to implement more beneficial things into my routine, I've decided to do a task/experiment for a week at a time and then decide my feelings on the subject after measuring the outcome after 7 days. My first little project is our cat.
Shay has medium-long hair, and she sheds. A lot. I’ve never had a cat of my own before, but my husband came with one and all of her hair. I thought perhaps it would help if I brushed her, so I brushed her everyday for a whole week. Here are the results:
I'm embarrassed to share this photo, but in the name of science I will cringe and upload it anyway. I took a mental survey of the house: all of the couches and her favorite spots have lots of visible cat hair on them, and cat hair tumbleweeds are always on the floor. Awesome.
I found Shay and went to work with the brush, which I assumed she would like. I assumed wrong. She was wriggling away and kept trying to escape the torture device. I ran the brush over her back, head, sides, and neck a few times and then she ran away. Despite not having a long session, a TON of hair came off of her. Later in the day, when I pet her, large amounts were still coming off in my hands, so I’d say today wasn't a huge success. I did vacuum the house to better confirm if my experiment has a favorable outcome.
Today she seemed more interested in being brushed, and I was able to spend more time doing it. There was a little less hair than yesterday, but not by much. Shay does not like her belly brushed, but otherwise she actually seemed to enjoy it today. I felt like I got a lot of hair off with the brush! When I pet her later, a few stray pieces were left on my hands, but not nearly the same amount as the day before: prognosis seems good.
I was pretty busy with errands and other things happening today, so I put off/forgot to brush the cat until late at night (which is also why the lighting is poor in this photo). I’m not sure if the timing of these sessions matters to her. Initially she seemed interested, but that quickly changed and she did not want to be brushed. I brought her out from her hiding places a few times to continue and she wasn't having any of it. Less hair was coming out onto the brush. Bonus: I noticed less dandruff and smoother fur on her body. I also noticed a significant drop in the amount of shedding when petting her, almost none came off onto my hands.
Today Shay was ALL ABOUT IT! I’m thinking most of the dead skin cells (gross), and loose hair have been removed in the past three days, because she is soaking it up and purring. I was able to brush her for about 10 full minutes today, which was a long time in my opinion, but somehow still less hair than the last few days.
There’s definitely less shedding onto the floors and our hands when we touch her. She seems to be more receptive to the brush too. I noticed when petting her she feels more smooth/streamlined but less silky if that's possible. I attempted to brush her belly a little more today, but she still hates that.
Today was a bad day for brushing. Shay had absolutely no interest in sitting still. She batted at it, bit it, and was generally fighting every attempt I made. Definitely a huge decrease in the amount of hair coming off of her during the session though; seems to be working!
Shay seemed generally uninterested in being brushed. She let me do it, and less hair was on the brush than in previous days. I once again attempted to brush her belly; to which she responded with a big fat nope and ran away.
Results- Looking around the house, I have noticed an overall reduction in the amount of cat hair, but not as much as I was expecting. There were still occasional tumbleweeds of fur going around, but those were noticeably less than before. As for the furniture, there seemed to be no difference in the amount of hair on the couches from before to after; which I was disappointed in. I attribute this lack of change to the fact that the cat mostly lays on her belly, which was a “no-go” brushing zone.
Overall, I will continue to brush Shay frequently, but probably not daily. Seeing as I’ll be vacuuming the couches and floors just as frequently, it’s a lot of effort to find the cat and force her to sit still for brushing when its not eliminating the excess fur all over the house. However, I did appreciate how it helped keep the fur off our hands when we would pet her, and that it seems to help her skin and the quality of her coat.
Overall take away message: brushing the cat seems to be really beneficial for her, but doesn't help with keeping our home tidy. I’ll stick to my previous cleaning methods to get rid of the pet hair, but I will brush the cat 3-4 times a week to help her coat and skin stay healthy, and so when we pet her we don't end up covered in a blanket of fur.
Do you brush your cat a lot? What benefits have you noticed? Do you have any other suggestions for cutting down on the cat hair throughout the home? Share your tips with me!